About us

Higher Education








Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Begin with Contains Exact term


All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Term Definition

A standardized method for collecting and reporting critical operational data in a way that enables relevant comparisons among the performances of different organizations or programmes, usually with a view to establishing good practice, diagnosing problems in performance, and identifying areas of strength. Benchmarking gives the organization (or the programme) the external references and the best practices on which to base its evaluation and to design its working processes.

Benchmarking is also defined as: 
 a diagnostic instrument (an aid to judgments on quality);
 a self-improvement tool (a quality management/quality assurance tool) allowing organizations (programmes) to compare themselves with others regarding some aspects of performance, with a view to finding ways to improve current performance;

 an open and collaborative evaluation of services and processes with the aim of learning from good practices; 
 a method of teaching an institution how to improve; 
 an on-going, systematically oriented process of continuously comparing and measuring the work processes of one organization with those of others by bringing an external focus on internal activities. 
Benchmarking implies specific steps and structured procedures. Depending on what is being compared or the type of information an institution is gathering, there are different types of benchmarking:

a) strategic benchmarking - focusing on what is done, on the strategies organizations use to compete
b) operational benchmarking - focusing on how things are done, on how well other organizations perform, and on how they achieve performance
c) data-based benchmarking - statistical bench-marking that examines the comparison of data-based scores and conventional performance indicators

There is also internal/external and external collaborative/trans-industry/ implicit benchmarking. Within different types, benchmarking may be either vertical (aiming at quantifying the costs, workloads, and learning productivity of a predefined programme area) or horizontal (looking at the costs of outcomes of a single process that cuts across more than one programme area).

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. If you want to use the sites without cookies or would like to know more, you can do that here.